The Body isn't Stupid
Let’s face it, the human body, or for that matter, ALL of nature has managed to survive without ANY help from man. Technically, I could end this post right now; however, there is a point beyond this thought which is, modern man is causing more harm than good. While I believe the intentions have always been to help in some way, the lack of patience and need to control is taking its toll; more so now than ever!
The other day I was assisting a client living with MS. He began working with me a couple months ago and was beginning to see some positive shifts in his energy, mood, gait and comfort level …. that was until he started one more supplement. He’d already been consuming an exceptionally high amount of vitamins, minerals and other assorted nutrients in several shake mixes he buys through a direct marketing company. The addition of the newest nutraceutical sent him backwards. When we first began our ‘partnership’, his wife told me about the powdered mixes and I encouraged him to continue with them because given his state of health, getting more than the recommended daily allowance is a good idea. That said, when they called to tell me about his setback, I put a pause on everything until I looked into the new product. What I discovered was shocking! This otherwise natural supplement contains a chemically produced emulsifier to hasten the breakdown and absorption JUST IN CASE the capsules pass through the digestive system too quickly. Who knew? Honestly, I have heard of nanotechnology in body care products for the very same purpose; yet, never put much thought to it until recently.
Through my studies of the DNA and human genome, I’ve come to understand just how amazing nature really is; essentially, we are wired for maintenance and dare I say, evolution?! Take the opioid receptors as an example, I don’t know if you were aware that we have receptors named ‘opioid’ …… if not, we do. Why? Because the opiate alkaloids from the opium poppy plant bind to these receptors. As a matter of fact, this endogenous opioid system is what produces our own opiates …. you’ve heard of endorphins, right? Well, endorphins a.k.a. endogenous morphine is just that AND we, along with every other jawed vertebrate, has had an endogenous opioid system for a VERY long time. In fact, genomic studies illustrate the progression of this system from a single receptor through two distinct duplication processes that led to at least four major subgroups. These receptors are widely distributed and located within the brain, spinal cord, and digestive tract with additional subgroups still being identified in the heart, liver, kidney and skeletal muscles. What’s even more fascinating is the significant role the opioid system appears to have throughout the animal kingdom … pain relief along with mediating social behaviors and mating. When it comes to the human animal …. there is a marginal difference between our opioid system coding and that of primates, believe it or not, just 1%. That said, what really sets us apart from them is the way our system is selectively changing itself as a result of genetic expression.
Ok, so why ramble on about the opioid system? Because it’s a great example! I could have provided any number of illustrations … the endocannabinoid system or the FOXP2 gene are two. I simply believe it’s important to understand exactly what we’ve been gifted … a body / a home, if you will, that is designed to not only protect us but to connect us and enable our continued existence which it does purely through exposure and experience; not forced input. And this takes me right back to my initial point and that of the stress response.
While there can be, and more than likely are, countless investigations and discussions as to why the human body is struggling as much as it is, my belief comes down to adaptation. We’re wired for it. Every organism is wired for it. I first learned of this fact years ago while studying the human genome and the Human Genome Project. And then as I was doing the research for ‘Breaking the Cycle of Disease Management’, I discovered stress in nature and set out to not only understand it, but to redefine it because truth be told, stress begins as a positive force. Even when things appear to be going wrong, the stress experienced is a form of communication, a reminder or directive for restoring ease, comfort and order. You see, we are not our body and even though it has the potential to take care of itself, please remember, we are wired for connection, which begins with us. This is the real gap between good and poor health. We spend a great deal of time empowering the mind and heart as well as work really hard to either prove we love our bodies or to improve them so that we might feel proud of them; yet, it appears there remains a degree of disconnect. Truthfully, this last point is especially important when it comes to body image and acceptance and something I want to write more on; although, not at this particular time. For the purpose of this post, I want to emphasize our need to control the body’s systems and the damage and obvious setbacks we are ignoring.
A prime example is the specific signaling to alter our opioid system. What is the stressor? In my professional opinion, we are inundated with information …. from mental and emotional to environmental which includes microbes, medications, body care, supplements, essential oils, pollution as well as the toxins being produced in the body due to the conventional model of chasing symptoms along with the context of seeing a problem as something needing to be fixed rather than an opportunity to adjust our ways and connect with the body. It’s overwhelming and in many ways, the receptors are being instructed to deactivate themselves. We see this happen with alcohol …. prolonged exposure turns the GABA receptors off. Emulsifiers in our supplements are disrupting the digestive process; therefore, the nutrients are not being assimilated properly which then aggravates the immune system (endorphins are produced in immune cells) and depending on a person’s genome, the resulting health conditions vary. Maybe they’ll develop an autoimmune disorder or maybe they’ll end up with several significantly, insignificant health concerns or possibly find themselves struggling with addiction. The truth is, it’s not possible to predict; yet, it’s pretty much guaranteed something will develop … depression, anxiety, autism, pain …….. Keep in mind, over half of the U.S. population is taking some type of psychotropic with Abilify and Cymbalta being the most widely prescribed. And then there is Synthroid (for the thyroid) along with such cholesterol lowering meds like Crestor topping the charts as well. From there, we see huge sales in Humira (used with autoimmune disorders), Nexium (for acid reflux), Copaxone (for MS), Enbrel (for rheumatoid arthritis) and Advair (for asthma) …. are you getting the picture? Hormonal / endocrine, immune, and digestive breakdowns. It gets worse when people end up taking cocktails of meds and supplements because of the continued disruption of organic processes. One that immediately comes to mind is vitamin D.
According to several medical journals, we are epidemically low on vitamin D; however, the supplement form is not making much of a difference. Why? Because there is a vitamin D receptor (VDR) that is being deactivated which means no amount of supplementation really helps. Furthermore, to take the supplement ‘tells’ the body it doesn’t need to make it which only compromises the endocrine system even more. And then, if that supplement contains a manmade emulsifier, you are unknowingly disrupting the digestive process. This goes for everything, not just supplements; medications, food, body care, ideas / beliefs, worries, even essential oils. In other words, the more we try to control, the less the body wants; yet, we’re ignoring this message. Instead, we treat the body like it’s defective and even though we think we’re trying to help it, it’s not from the space of trust and partnership. We are essentially taking the reins and imposing our belief systems onto it, when in fact, what it truly needs is our cooperation. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the mentality behind our current technologies; however, we’re facing these issues because for some reason at some point, we began questioning what we’d originally been given and how well it has protected us from extinction …… are you wondering about this last statement? I invite you to consider the black plague ….. 70+ million people died from that; yet, there were a select few that lived on which is why we happen to be here! As I mentioned, the body isn’t stupid; neither are we. I also suggested that we are not our body and the more memes I see on social media, the more I see a separation between our essential self and the body. This, to me, is the real reason we’re facing health issues. No, the body isn’t stupid. On the contrary, it’s far wiser than we can possibly imagine. In my humble opinion, I see it attempting to connect and humble us and at the same time awaken us.
On that note, I also believe the body needs a lot of what we’ve created to help it i.e. medications and supplements, just not to the degree that we’re using them. Something I mention in my current newsletter on vitamin D is this: ‘it is a good idea to address the immediate concerns and shift towards a broader perspective of working with the entire neuroendocrine system and not being so focused on boosting this hormone or that one. The goal here is to be flexible and adapt while trusting the body’s wisdom.’ The reason for this: we are reminded of positive thinking all day every day; yet, when we seek to control, we’re no longer viewing a situation through positivity. We must first see opportunities, set our intentions on a positive outcome and do our best to tune in and align our choices with love.